Miss Eliza May McRae drew up a will gifting her farm property, near Frasertown, for the general benefit of the people of New Zealand.

  • She had previously inherited this typical sheep and beef hill-country block from her father Farquhar McRae, a one-time Scottish shepherd successfully transplanted to prosperous station proprietor in Northern Hawkes Bay.

  • Raised, along with her two sisters Nancy and Catherine, in the family homestead of Springhill Station, May McRae was later educated at Iona College and trained in Karitane nursing.

  • Miss McRae revelled in the cultivation of ornamental trees and shrubs, particularly the genus Rhododendron. Creating the Waitahora woodland garden, she added a new homestead, ornamental trees and formal rose garden - and sourced exotic trees for a delightful 3 hectare
    (7 acre) Arboretum.

  • The community and future generation benefit
    from her vision

Deed of McRae Trust

Promotion on a national basis of interest in, and development of ornamental and other trees and shrubs of all kinds.

Encouragement of the growing of the Genus Rhododendron.

Dissemination (for the general public benefit) of the knowledge of horticulture and silviculture.

Encouragement in all ways of the preservation of native flora and fauna.

Encouragement of the improvement of farming lands and methods on the East Coast type hill country.

Miss Eliza May McRae,

The Trust preserves the association of the McRae family with the Wairoa district. From left, Farquhar McRae, Nancy, May, and Mary holding baby Ca